Asim Ali, IEMA’s Public Affairs Officer, examines the UK Government's policy announcements from December and how they affect the goals of decarbonisation and environmental sustainability. This blog post is part of a monthly series that also reflects on the activity of relevant select committees and all-party parliamentary groups.

Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs

The government has committed to protecting 30% of the UK's land by 2030, with a comprehensive plan outlining criteria and collaboration with stakeholders.

To combat deforestation and protect endangered species, new legislation has been introduced to ensure that essential supermarket products like palm oil, cocoa, beef, leather, and soy are not linked to illegal deforestation. This initiative aims to safeguard vital habitats, giving British consumers assurance that their purchases align with ethical and environmental standards.

The Environment Agency has been granted the authority to impose unlimited financial penalties on companies found guilty of polluting the environment. This step, removing the £250,000 cap on Variable Monetary Penalties (VMPs), strengthens the agency's ability to hold industries accountable.

In response to the growing issue of electrical waste, the government has announced reforms to make it easier for households and businesses to recycle old electrical goods. The government has also issued a call for evidence to ensure the future waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) system supports the circular economy and drives higher treatment standards. The consultation is set to close on 7th March.

Department of Energy Security and Net Zero

Turning to the announcements from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) the UK has committed over £85 million at COP28 to tackle deforestation, cut methane emissions, and advance low-carbon technologies. Partnerships with countries like Brazil, the US, and European nations underscore the global cooperation required to combat climate change effectively.

In a bid to support climate-vulnerable countries, the UK government has announced £100 million in funding. This commitment aligns with the call for bolder action on climate adaptation at the COP28 Summit.

Billions in climate finance are set to be mobilised for the global Net Zero transition over the next decade. This follows an initiative from the UK and the World Bank, aiming to unlock private sector investment for innovative projects tackling climate challenges.

Net Zero Minister Graham Stuart has announced further details of £140 million to support developing countries in delivering net zero while extending access to affordable energy and growing their economies. The funds aim to provide clean energy for millions, create thousands of green jobs, and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

The government has outlined plans for a new competitive UK carbon capture, usage, and storage (CCUS) market by 2035, supporting economic growth and job creation. This vision sets the stage for the transition from early government-backed projects to a self-sustaining CCUS sector.

A roadmap detailing the journey to central government net-zero emissions by 2050 has been outlined as part of the Net Zero Government Initiative. This plan covers policies and interim targets central to decarbonising the UK's governments.

Select Committees

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee

The Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee explored urban green space accessibility disparities in a recent evidence session. Additionally, on World Soil Day, the Committee revealed its investigation findings, urging the elevation of soil health to a level comparable to water and air quality in government policies. The report recommends statutory soil health targets aligning with existing water and air quality goals by 2028.

All-Party Parliamentary Group

Environment APPG

The Environment APPG is organising a roundtable on 'UK businesses and the electric vehicle transition' with the UK Electric Fleets Coalition. Additionally, on January 23rd, a session with Dame Glenys Stacey will discuss the government's Environmental Improvement Plan and its impact on nature and climate targets. The session aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the EIP in driving environmental progress. IEMA’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Ben Goodwin, will also be part of the panel.

Photo of Asim 2
Asim Ali

Public Affairs Officer

Asim joined IEMA in May 2022 as a Public Affairs Officer. Prior to joining IEMA, Asim worked in a variety of roles for three Members of Parliament and interned for the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. He also holds an MA in Human Rights, Globalisation & Justice


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